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Safe Driving BACKGROUND AND STATISTICS Driving is an essential part of American life Driving a private vehicle provides a freedom of mobility that allows for changes in plans and routine Driving can be fun or hectic business-related or recreational But most importantly driving CAN BE and every year IS fatal for almost 50000 Americans Nationally there are approximately 181 auto-related deaths per 100000 people for all ages but when these figures are broken down into age groups one group stands out Male drivers between the ages of 15 and 24 years old have 482 auto-related deaths per 100000 population a rate 2 12 times the national average Female drivers between the ages of 15 and 24 years have 184 auto-related deaths per 100000 population which approximates the national average These figures suggest that although overall improvement is necessary young male drivers should be targeted as a group that needs increased attention Automobile companies have made great improvement in car safety with seatbelts shoulder straps headrests air-bags padded dashes safety glass collapsible steering columns controlled crush characteristics anti-locking breaks and a host of other less recognized improvements Highway improvements have similarly decreased accidents and deaths and efforts to remove intoxicated drivers from the roads should offer similar improvements That still leaves the question of the teenage driver Automobile insurance companies report that from a statistical standpoint teenage driving deaths frequently occur after dark with passengers other than family members seldom solo following alcohol use with recreational rather than work related use SUGGESTIONS TO REDUCE ACCIDENT RISK The accident rate for young drivers CAN be improved by following a few simple suggestions Drivers education is recommended by many insurance companies These courses have been demonstrated to decrease the frequency of accidents among those that have taken them For the first 3 to 6 months after obtaining a drivers license
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